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WA Youth Join Climate Strike, Demand Planet with a Future

More than two dozen protests are scheduled across Washington state for Friday's Global Climate Strike. (DisobeyArt/Adobe Stock)
More than two dozen protests are scheduled across Washington state for Friday's Global Climate Strike. (DisobeyArt/Adobe Stock)
September 19, 2019

SEATTLE – Young people are leading the world in strikes on Friday to demand action on climate change.

Students and workers are walking out in solidarity as part of the Global Climate Strike.

It's taking place before the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York on Monday.

Olivia Schroeder, a senior at Lakeside High School in Seattle, is helping to organize the strike in the Emerald City. She says the movement is giving a voice to people who can't yet vote.

"We have futures that we're looking forward to, but we need the planet to be there for those futures and we need to be able to accomplish what we want to accomplish within our lifetimes or, like, our kids and generations after us,” she states. “We need a planet there that's not burning, going up in flames."

At least 800 strikes are scheduled across all 50 states, including more than two dozen in Washington. People in 150 countries also are planning to strike.

Another event, the International Earth Strike, is planned for next Friday, Sept. 27.

Elle Johnson, a junior at Bellevue High School, is organizing the strike in her city. She says this issue has been put onto the shoulders of young people, and it's leading to "eco-anxiety," a fear that time is running out for the world to act.

Johnson maintains people have the tools to stop climate change. She says what's really needed is a large social movement and concern for the well-being of people on this planet.

"Almost every time I talk to people about climate change, I say if you're empathetic enough to care about other people, then it's inevitable that you're going to join this movement," she states.

Olivia Schroeder's father, James Schroeder, is conservation director at The Nature Conservancy in Washington, which is joining the strike. He says he’s proud to see his daughter and other young people leading this movement.

"It's the kids and the youth who are speaking out, and as a parent and as an adult and as a professional, I want to be there in support of them because it's their voices that we want to elevate," he states.

Disclosure: The Nature Conservancy of Washington contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - WA